Theoretical underpinnings of community-based sentences and custody for young offenders in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-282
Journal / PublicationHong Kong Law Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


Much has been written about youth crime, justice and corrections in Hong Kong in the past three decades, in particular, about the historical roots of the youth justice system, causes of juvenile delinquency, and the outcomes of different rehabilitative programmes for young offenders. However, little is known in theory, practice and policy about how community-based and custodial sentences can achieve the goals of rehabilitation and correction for young offenders. In this paper, the author analyses the purposes of penal measures with reference to the classical theories of punishment, rather than empirical data or statistics. The author argues that a community-based sentence, in many respects, performs as or more effectively than a custodial programme in achieving the various sentencing aims.